Our goal is to support your school, district or state in navigating assessment and accountability to help improve student learning. Here, we share the latest news and views from the Center for Assessment team.

    Blog posts

    Assessment Standard Setting Use of Assessment Results

    Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes...Turn and Face the Strange World of Assessment

    A Framework to Help State Assessment Teams Deal Effectively With Change

    Heraclitus of Ephesus said that “The only thing that is constant is change.”  This observation certainly applies to K-12 assessment programs, as assessment transitions seem to be happening on a more frequent basis and at a more rapid pace in recent years. 

    Consider the following information gathered from a recent informal survey of 21 states by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) about assessment transitions in the past few years:

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    Use of Assessment Results Assessment Assessment systems

    Considering Interim Assessments and Summative Information

    Providing Flexibility to Schools and Districts while meeting ESSA Assessment Requirements

    Getting the most out of any investment is common sense, and a sensical goal. In terms of school districts and states, these entities often make substantial investments into interim assessments with the aim of supporting classroom instruction and district decision making.

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    Standard Setting performance standards standards validation comparability Assessment

    Re-envisioning Performance Standards Validation

    Taking a Principled Approach to Evaluating Reporting Scales and Performance Standards when Modifications are Made to Assessments

    For a variety of reasons—political, psychometric and practical—states are often required to modify their large-scale summative assessments. These changes may be significant, such as developing new assessments after the adoption of revised academic content standards, or minor, such as adding a couple items to an existing test blueprint. 

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    Baby Steps: Moving Forward on Teacher Evaluation

    Shifting From an Accountability to an Instructional Mindset for Teacher Evaluation

    I was recently invited by Future Focused Education to share my thoughts on teacher evaluation for their blog. I contributed two posts about the insurmountable challenges of state-mandated teacher evaluation and the promise of coherent locally-based support and evaluation systems.

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    Alignment Turns 25 This Year–So Now We Ask, What Are its Prospects?

    The Road from Defining and Measuring Alignment to Effectively Using it in the Design of Assessments and Assessment Systems

    Alignment turns 25 this year. Happy Birthday, Alignment! Alignment burst onto the K-12 assessment landscape with the Improving America’s Schools Act (IASA) – the 1994 reauthorization of ESEA. Among other Title 1 requirements, IASA required states to develop “assessments aligned to challenging content and performance standards.”  

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    What’s Next in State Accountability?

    The Lack of Consistency in Accountability Results Across the Country Provokes  This Fundamental Question

    States will soon publish (or have already published) the first results of their federally-mandated accountability systems. 

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    How to Plan for a Balanced Assessment System While Keeping Curriculum in Mind

    An Approach to Promote Coherence by Connecting Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction to Student Learning

    State and district leaders are increasingly interested in implementing balanced systems of assessment, in large part to improve the instructional utility of assessment scores. 

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    How Did “On Track” Get So “Off Track”?

    Colloquial Language is More Familiar, But Can be More Easily Misinterpreted When Reporting Test Results

    With the proliferation of large-scale state summative assessments and published results, one could say that testing has gone mainstream. 

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    Assessment systems

    Rethinking Accountability for Alternative High Schools 

    The Problems with Applying Traditional Performance Ratings to Alternative Schools 

    Alternative high schools serve a vital role in improving outcomes for students, particularly for those students who are most at risk. 

    While there isn’t a uniform definition for “alternative,” the term typically describes a school that primarily serves students who have not been successful in a traditional environment. Alternative high schools often receive students with cumulative academic deficits and take on the vital work of helping students prepare for opportunities after high school. 


    How Effective are Alternative High Schools?

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    The Center for Assessment - 20 Years and Going Strong

    Highlights from 2018 at the Center for Assessment and Setting the Stage for 2019 and Beyond

    The Center for Assessment celebrated its 20th anniversary in September with many long-time friends, and the celebration was highlighted by our 20th Reidy Interactive Lecture Series (RILS) where Center professionals reflected on the past and offered a vision for the future. 

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